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  • Writer's pictureDiane Rose-Solomon

Diane’s Diary #1: The Making of Animal Magic

Here we go! Welcome to Diane’s Diary: The Making of Animal Magic.

I have to admit, I’m really excited about this. I decided to keep an informal diary throughout this process because I have never filmed before and thought that it might be fun, or maybe even useful to chronicle my ups and downs. And there have already been tons of ups and downs and lots of learning.

Welcome to the diary of my experience making my first documentary films. It’s been a process and a windy path that has led me to this point. As I’m starting out, I have no idea where this will take me. I don’t have film experience, I don’t have a partner, or an official team or funding (or at least I didn’t when I started writing this).

I have a vision and a dream for a film, and I am taking baby steps every day toward realizing this project and dream.

Here is my Vision:

We believe in a world where the therapeutic benefits of interactions between animals and humans are universally embraced and practiced.

And here is my Mission:

We capture and share stories via film that demonstrate the positive impact therapy animals have on people. We do this in order to increase the awareness of and access to Animal Assisted Interactions, Animal Assisted Therapies and Service Animals that can benefit many more people than are currently being served.

My intention is to do the best that I can do to create films worthy of viewing and sharing far and wide that positively impact people and animals alike. I began filming last May and have worked with incredibly talented and dedicated people. It has been a joyous process so far. Allow me to introduce you to Animal Magic Films.

I know we are all busy so I will keep the blogs as short as possible while maintaining the integrity of the story. (Some will be a bit longer). The blog is my journey and is being told in chronological order, starting with childhood experiences that impact me to this day.

As those of you who are part of my Pets People Planet Connection community know, animal

rescue will always be near and dear to my heart. Knowing that there are animals living and dying on the streets and in shelters around the world, there is still more work to be done. I would like to think that the books and blogs that I’ve written, and the videos I’ve recorded have made at least a small difference to the people they’ve touched.

I know that my life was changed the day we accidentally adopted our first dog, JJ. I

JJ, the dog that started it all

experienced unconditional love, loyalty and constant companionship from this incredible pup. Adopting JJ opened my eyes to the world of animal rescue and pet overpopulation, and I knew that adopting this dog was just the first step of many I would take in advocating for homeless, abused and neglected animals.

Kougle the cat circa 1973 with my sister Julie
Kougle the cat circa 1973 with my sister Julie

Going farther back in my personal history, I have to admit that my relationship as a kid with my cat, Kougle, influenced, and possibly saved my life. Middle school was rough, I was bullied relentlessly, and coming home to Kougle who waited for me every day was a bright light during some dark times. He knew all of my deepest secrets and loved me in spite of or because of them. He slept on my bed, usually on my pillow at night and I never felt fully alone because of it.

I’ve had pets in my home for most of my life and was privileged to ride horses for a few years as a kid. While largely unaware of how powerfully these animals affected me, after adopting JJ, it became more apparent. When I learned about the millions of healthy adoptable pets that were being euthanized, I knew that I couldn’t remain silent.

From time to time people would ask me why I chose to be an advocate for animals and not for people. Honestly, at the beginning, I didn’t have a good response. It’s not that I didn’t care about people. I just had a special connection with animals. More importantly, what I came to learn is that everything in this world is connected. And when we care about animals, or nature or our environment or people, it opens our hearts even wider to care about it all.

Years later when someone was lambasting me for caring about animals when people were being treated horribly in this world, before I could even utter a response, a lovely woman next to me chimed in: “It’s not either/or. It’s an AND.” We can love animals AND people. There’s room in our hearts for both.

And so it is. The films that I am creating endeavor to spotlight the power of the bond that humans and animals share and how we can ultimately support one another. More in the next post about the evolution from animal rescue to human-animal bond advocate.

I have a brand new website and am thrilled to share it with you. Please check it out. We will be expanding it as we move forward, but I'm pleased with it and hope you enjoy spending time there too. If you are not yet signed up for my newsletter, go ahead and sign up now so you can learn about upcoming film releases and more!

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